Case Highlights the Role of Correspondent Bank Accounts and Circumvention of AML Programs
Court Order Describes Seizure as a “Reckoning” for Atrocities in the Ukraine
On April 4, 2022, Magistrate Judge Zia M. Faruqui of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia granted the government’s Application for Warrant to Seize Property Subject to Forfeiture, finding that there was probable cause to believe that the yacht Tango, a 255-foot luxury yacht allegedly owned by sanctioned Russian oligarch Viktor Vekselberg, was subject to forfeiture based on alleged violations of U.S. bank fraud, money laundering, and sanction statutes. The Tango is located in a shipyard on the Spanish island of Mallorca, and the warrant and subsequent seizure by the United States and its allies was part of Task Force KleptoCapture, an interagency law enforcement task force designed to help deploy U.S. prosecutorial and law enforcement resources to identify sanctions evasion and related criminal conduct.
Sanctions were imposed on Vekselberg and the company he founded, the Renova Group, in April 2018 by the Treasury Department. Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Vekselberg was hit with new penalties by the U.S. government on March 11, 2022. These sanctions were pursuant to various Executive Orders under the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (“IEEPA”) imposed against persons responsible for or complicit in certain activities with respect to Ukraine.
Continue Reading Russian Oligarch’s Yacht Subject to Forfeiture Based on Alleged Violations of Bank Fraud, Money Laundering, and U.S. Sanction Statutes